You have a car so you need car insurance – it’s the law in most states. But what kind of car insurance should you get when there are so many options to choose from? And do you need more insurance than you’re legally required to have?
For example, should you get comprehensive coverage even though your car is nearing the end of its life? How much liability insurance do you really need? Do you need car insurance in case a driver who hits you is underinsured or uninsured?
There are so many questions to answer to help you choose the right auto insurance.
On top of making sure that you have the proper coverage, you also want to make sure that you don’t overspend.
Read on to find out what you really need and learn how to find the best auto insurance for your requirements.
On this page:
- Best Auto Insurance Companies
- What Do You Need?
- Additional Considerations
- Do You Have the Right Car Insurance?
- Car Insurance Traps
Best Auto Insurance Companies Comparison
LendEDU does not have a financial relationship and is not compensated by any of the companies listed below.
on AAA’s secure website
- Simple application that asks for basic personal, vehicle, and driver information
- Request a quote in 6 minutes or less
- You can save money by bundling your auto insurance with AAA home insurance
on Allstate’s secure website
- Helps you determine the auto insurance requirements for your state prior to taking out a policy
- Multiple types of coverage such as collision, comprehensive, liability, and more
- Discount options if you meet certain criteria
on Amica’s secure website
- Save up to 25% with multiple cars
- Save up to 15% if you insure your car and home
- Nationally recognized for customer service and rated A+ for financial strength by A.M. Best
on Esurance’s secure website
- Get an estimate right away; most customers who use photo claims are paid in just one day
- Video chat with an appraiser and you could get paid right then and there
- Monitor the progress of your car’s repairs with daily photo updates
on USAA’s secure website
- Remain accident free for five years at USAA and your premium won’t go up after one at-fault accident
- Pays the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired due to a covered claim
- You’re covered around the country or around the globe as your military assignments change
on Geico’s secure website
- You can report a claim online for auto accidents, vehicle damage, and roadside service
- It usually takes just 5 minutes and you can schedule a repaid immediately (when eligible)
- Gives you fast, secure access to your auto, cycle, or RV claim
on Liberty Mutual’s secure website
- Most people complete their quote in under 10 minutes
- Won’t raise your rates due to your first accident
- Pays for the initial medical expenses of people injured in your car for a covered issue
on Nationwide’s secure website
- File your car insurance claim and choose a repair shop in their network to get a written guarantee for as long as your own your vehicle
- They offer discounts to lower your auto insurance rates, including good student and multi-policy discounts
- Every year of safe driving reduces your car insurance deductible by $100
on Progressive’s secure website
- Save 5% or more on your auto insurance when you combine with home, renters, or condo insurance
- Use their Name Your Price Tool to find coverage that fits into your budget
- Snapshot is a program they offer that personalizes your rate based on how you drive
on State Farm’s secure website
- Choose between multiple options including collision, comprehensive, liability, and more
- Many discount opportunities to help lower your payments
- The Select Service program is a network of auto repairers committed to providing quality auto repairs for State Farm customers
on Cincinnati Insurance Companies’ secure website
- Receive “industry-leading” coverage for rental vehicles when you purchase their auto liability coverage
- Simplicity and convenience of covering all of your auto insurance needs on a single policy
- Optional enhancements are available to add to your policy
on Travelers’ secure website
- Purchasing multiple policies such as car and home are one of the ways that you can save money on your car insurance
- Multiple car insurance coverage options
- The Responsible Driver package includes accident forgiveness and minor violation forgiveness
What Are the Best Auto Insurance Companies?
American Automobile Association
The American Automobile Association is better known as AAA. It is a nonprofit association that was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in Heathrow, Fla.
In addition to providing a membership club that allows you to get discounts and roadside assistance, it also provides some of the best auto insurance offerings. Depending on the state you live in, they offer common insurance policies like collision, comprehensive, bodily injury liability, medical payments, excess medical payments, property damage liability, uninsured collision, underinsured/uninsured motorist, accidental death and dismemberment, and car rental or transport expenses. In order to understand what they offer in your state, you will have to contact your local AAA branch.
AAA ranked highly in some U.S. regions for customer satisfaction, according to a 2017 J.D. Power study. Because AAA is a nonprofit association that serves its members, you might find that it provides better auto insurance rates than other insurers. It’s available in all states.
Allstate is one of America’s largest insurance providers and was started in 1931 as a subsidiary of Sears before it was spun off into its own company in 1995. It is headquartered in Northfield Township, Ill.
Allstate provides a number of common auto insurance policy options depending on the state that you live in. It offers collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, liability coverage, medical payment coverage, underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, rental reimbursement, sound system coverage, roadside coverage, personal injury protection, personal umbrella policies, and property protection coverage. It also offers classic car insurance and rideshare insurance for those who are working for ride share companies.
Allstate earned 3.5 out of 5 stars based on J.D Power ratings for claims satisfaction. Allstate offers a discount of up to 35 percent for students, a 15 percent discount on new cars, and a variable discount for safe driving.
Amica insurance is an insurance company that has been offering auto insurance since 1907. It is based in Lincoln, R.I.
Amica provides you with a number of different types of coverage options including liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, personal injury coverages, medical coverage, property coverage, rental car coverage, glass coverage, roadside assistance coverage, and many other options. They also offer extras in your policy like new car replacement and no deductible for things like lock replacement, glass repair, and repair of a deployed airbag.
Amica was rated No. 1 by J.D. Power for claims satisfaction, customer service ratings, and consumer complaints. Amica offers auto insurance discounts for students, loyalty, safety features, and more.
Esurance is a company that sells insurance online or via the phone directly to consumers. Its parent organization is Allstate, and it was founded in 1999. It is based in San Francisco.
Esurance provides a variety of different types of coverage and lets you personalize what you want. It breaks down coverage types into liability, vehicle-based, and medical. It offers medical payments coverage and personal injury protection, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, emergency roadside assistance, rental car coverage, and loan/lease gap coverage. It also offers bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, and liability coverage for those in no-fault states, as well as underinsured and uninsured motorist liability coverage.
In some states, Esurance offers Pay Per Mile insurance and discounts for signing up with a Drivesense tracking device. Whether you will save with them depends on your personal situation. Esurance is available in 43 states.
The United States Automobile Association offers financial services including banking, investing, and insurance for people who are serving or who have served in the U.S. military and their family. It was started in 1922 by a group of U.S. Army officers and is based in San Antonio, Texas. It is one of the largest auto insurers in the U.S.
It provides a number of different coverage options, including collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage, personal injury protection, extended benefits coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, and accident forgiveness.
Coverage is available in almost all states. But in order to qualify, you must have served or currently be serving in the military or have someone in the military in your immediate family.
GEICO stands for the Government Employees Insurance Company and was started in 1936. It is currently owned by Berkshire Hathaway and provided coverage to more than 24 million vehicles in 2017.
GEICO offers a number of different types of auto coverages including bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist coverage, medical payments, no-fault and personal injury protection coverage, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, emergency road assistance, rental reimbursement, and mechanical breakdown insurance.
GEICO offers relatively low car insurance rates and a variety of different kinds of discounts based on your car, your age, and where you work. If you’re in the military, a federal employee, or a student, you might be able to get a better rate.
Liberty Mutual is a diversified global insurer based in Boston. They offer a number of different types of insurance products from auto to group disability coverages, and they were founded in 1912.
Liberty Mutual offers a variety of different kinds of auto insurance coverage including bodily liability and property damage liability, medical payments coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, accident forgiveness, better car replacement, new car replacement, and rental car reimbursement. They also offer things like a lifetime repair guarantee, teacher’s insurance, and a deductible fund to help if you need to make a claim.
Liberty Mutual provides economical insurance with some great extra benefits and offers coverage to almost all states.
Nationwide Mutual company is an insurance company and financial services company that was founded in 1925 and is based in Columbus, Ohio.
Nationwide provides a variety of types of coverages including liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, uninsured and underinsurance motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, personal injury protection, accident forgiveness, roadside assistance, towing and labor insurance, rental reimbursement, and classic car insurance. It also offers something called a vanishing deductible, where your deductible is reduced by $100 for every year that you don’t make a claim.
Nationwide offers good prices on its auto insurance and discounts if you join its SmartRide program, choose paperless documents, are a good student, have a family plan, or buy multiple policies.
Progressive insurance company is a car insurance company that is based in Mayfield Village, Ohio. It was started in 1937 and is one of the biggest auto insurers.
Progressive offers a number of different insurance options including liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, rental car insurance coverage, car accessories coverage, roadside assistance coverage, pet injury coverage, gap insurance, and other coverages.
Progressive offers fair car insurance rates, but it does offer some discounts such as if you opt into Snapshot, which gathers details about your driving record, or if you bundle your auto or home insurance.
State Farm is an insurance and financial services company that was started in 1922 and is headquartered in Bloomington, Ill.
It offers a number of different types of coverages including things like liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, rideshare drive coverage, emergency roadside coverage, and car rental and travel expenses coverage.
State Farm offers a number of ways to save money on your auto insurance, such as up to a 50 percent discount if State Farm can analyze your safe driving behavior via an app. It also has a drivers’ training refresher course for drivers under 25 in order to help them improve the auto insurance rates that they pay.
The Cincinnati Insurance Company
The Cincinnati Financial company primarily offers property and casualty insurance. It is based in Fairfield, Ohio, and was founded in 1950. It is the 20thlargest insurance company by market share in the US.
The Cincinnati Insurance Company offers a number of different options when it comes to car insurance including liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, gap coverage, rental car coverage, replacement cost coverage, antique car coverage. It also offers supplementary insurance coverage for things like towing, deductibles, trip interruption, lock replacement, glass, and child seat replacement.
Cincinnati Insurance Company has received an A+ financial strength rating from A.M. Best, which puts it in the “superior” category. Its car insurance rates are reasonable and it offers discounts for students with a high grade point average, for multiple vehicles, or if you insure your home with them.
Travelers Group is an American insurance company that offers property and casualty insurance and is one of the largest personal insurance companies in the U.S. It was started in 1864 and was once a part of Citigroup. It is headquartered in New York City.
Travelers Group offers a number of different options such as liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, personal injury protection, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, loan and lease gap insurance, rental coverage, roadside assistance, new car replacement, accident forgiveness, and ride sharing insurance.
Travelers Group offers fair car insurance rates and provides savings if you buy other types of insurance from them or if you have multiple cars insured with them. In addition, you can get discounts if you’ve had no gaps in your coverage, if you have a new car, and if you have a hybrid or electric car.
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Shopping Around for the Best Car Insurance
Who wants to spend hours combing the internet comparing car insurance quotes or going into the offices of insurers in order to get quotes? No one. But insurance is a big expense, and you want to make sure that you get the best car insurance at the right price.
In addition, car insurance companies offer a variety of insurance products so it’s important to find the one that offers the right policies and add-ons to fit your needs. Even if you think you have a great car insurance rate, you could save a significant amount of money just by shopping around.
It doesn’t have to be so time-consuming. There are auto insurance brokers and online marketplaces where you can fill out one form and get quotes from multiple car insurance companies.
What to Look for in the Best Car Insurance Companies
Sure, you want best car insurance rates, but you also want a good car insurance company. So, how do you know that the company that offers you a great deal is actually going to be there for you when you get into an accident and provide you with quick service without unnecessary problems and red tape?
One of the most important things to consider is how satisfied their current customers are with their service. After all, they would know best whether the company provides good value. Luckily, J.D. Power scores customer satisfaction with claims. Their 2017 study looked at the responses of over 11,000 auto insurance customers who had settled a claim with their insurers within the last six months.
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What Kind of Insurance Do You Need?
In order to figure out what kind of insurance you need, you’ll want to check the legal requirements for auto insurance in your state. Each state is different, and your insurance can cost more or less depending on what is required.
However, you likely don’t just want to buy the coverage that is required. Many optional policies can offer good benefits. After all, if your car is stolen, you likely want to have it replaced unless it’s a relatively cheap vehicle. Similarly, you will likely want your medical bills and the medical bills of your passengers covered if you get into an accident.
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Making Sure You Have the Right Car Insurance
When it comes to shopping for the best car insurance, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you have the coverage you need. But what are the main types of auto insurance available? Let’s break it down.
Most states legally require you to have some amount of liability coverage. Driving without liability insurance could lead to a fine or a suspended license. Liability policies protect you if you hit someone or cause damage to property by paying for the damage you caused.
Liability coverage has two parts – bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Bodily injury liability would cover the cost of another person’s injuries if you were to be found responsible for an accident that harmed them. Property damage liability covers repairs to other cars or property that you damage while driving.
Ever worry that your car will be stolen or vandalized? It happens to car owners every day, but with comprehensive insurance, you’re covered in those scenarios. You’re also often covered in if your car is destroyed or damaged in other ways such as by fire or by a natural disaster. This type of coverage is optional, but if you’re leasing your car or if you bought it with an auto loan, you might be required by your lender to have comprehensive coverage.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
You might have the proper insurance, but what happens if a driver hits you and they don’t have any insurance or they don’t have enough to cover your damages? If you don’t have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, you’re out of luck and could be paying out of pocket for your repairs and medical bills. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is required in some states but is optional in many other states.
Get into an accident and want your car to be fixed? If you don’t have collision coverage, you’ll be paying out of pocket to fix it. Collision coverage will help you if you hit another car or if you just scrape your bumper on the wall in a parking garage. If your car is too damaged, they’ll replace your car or offer you the market value of your vehicle toward a replacement.
Collision coverage has a deductible and is optional, though like comprehensive insurance, if you lease your car or borrowed money to buy it, your lender might require that you have it.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage covers you, your passengers, or your family if they get injured while driving in your vehicle and you are at fault. This insurance covers things hospital visits, surgeries, and things like physiotherapy and massage therapy if you’re struggling with pain. In some states, it is mandatory.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
This type of insurance is only available in a few states. It is similar to medical payments coverage, but covers other expenses in addition to your medical payments that you might have if you get into an accident. For example, it often covers things like lost income or child care. Personal injury protection insurance is required in certain states and optional in others.
Personal Liability Umbrella Policy
While this isn’t technically auto insurance, it is a type of insurance that will protect you against personal liability claims if you hurt someone or destroy property. An umbrella policy is a policy that you take out that covers your liability no matter where you are and what you’re doing.
Many people choose to get the least amount of liability coverage legally required via auto insurance and then to get an umbrella policy. It tends to be more cost effective to do it that way and it provides you with greater coverage. Liability coverage also protects you in other circumstances, like in case you’re sued for libel or defamation – so it provides a lot of extra benefits for a discounted price.
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Additional Auto Insurance Considerations
Considerations If You Have Kids or Teen Drivers
If you have children or if there are teen drivers in your household, there are a number of things to consider when it comes to your auto insurance. First and foremost, you’ll likely want to ensure that your children are covered if you get into an accident by getting medical payments insurance. The last thing you want is for your children to get hurt and for you not to be able to cover their medical bills.
If you have teenagers who are starting to drive, getting auto insurance might become more complicated and expensive. When your teen gets their driver’s license, you should be sure to add them to your policy to ensure that they’re covered – or else your teen might not be covered if they get into an accident.
If you plan on getting your teen their own car, you should check first to see how much car insurance would cost for the cars that you’re considering. You want to get them a safe car that will also help reduce their insurance costs. If you are getting another insurance policy for your child’s car, you should also ask about additional discounts that you could get for having multiple cars insured.
If your child takes drivers’ education or defensive driving classes, they are more likely to qualify for discounts. You might want to pay a little more for certain types of insurance like accident forgiveness insurance, since the odds are higher that they might get into an accident. To compensate, you can potentially raise your deductibles in order to keep your insurance costs low
When adding your teen to your policy, shop around since you might want to change insurers. Some insurers will provide cheaper auto insurance rates for teen drivers than others.
Considerations for Seniors and Drivers with Disabilities
If you’re a senior, there’s good news – you might qualify for discounts. Seniors are known for being a low-risk demographic. That means as you get older you could see your auto insurance premiums go down significantly. Also, given that you might be retired, you could qualify for things like low mileage discounts.
If you’re a driver with a disability, the good news is that thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is illegal for companies to charge you more because you have a physical or mental disability.
The bad news is that if you have modified your vehicle for a disability, you’ll likely have to purchase an add-on policy or additional coverage in order to cover the custom equipment that you have on your car. In order to have your custom equipment insured, you must get a typical collision and comprehensive insurance plan, but you’ll have to get additional custom equipment coverage if your equipment is worth over $1,000. It’s important to note that most companies will only allow you to increase your coverage by $4,000 to $5,000, which could be problematic if you have more expensive modifications.
Considerations If You’ve Had Accidents in the Past
If you’ve gotten into accidents in the past, you might think that you’re stuck paying through the nose for insurance. That might not be the case. What matters is how many accidents or citations you have in the past, what kind of car you drive, how old you are, and how much driving experience you have.
If you have had multiple car accidents or if your car accidents involved drugs or alcohol, you will likely end up paying more. The same can be said if you’re young or a relatively new driver as you don’t have years of clean driving behind you. Something to consider is potentially getting a new type of car since that can reduce your insurance rates significantly.
Also, different companies are more forgiving when it comes to drivers who have had accidents, so make sure to shop around so that you can find a company that will give you the best auto insurance rates despite your history.
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Auto Insurance Add-Ons to Consider
When you purchase auto insurance, you’re going to be asked if you want a variety of different kinds of add-ons to your policy. These add-ons don’t generally cost a lot, but they add up. It’s important to consider their cost and whether or not you truly need them before you decide to include them in your policy.
One popular add-on is roadside assistance. If you’ve ever found yourself stranded on the side of the road when your car wasn’t working or you had a flat tire, this could come in handy. After all, getting towed can be expensive, and trying to find a tow truck company, especially if you’re traveling away from home, can be stressful.
But before you get this coverage, it’s critical to weigh the costs and consider the downsides. If you have a newer car, for instance, you’re far less likely to need roadside assistance. It’s also important to consider the timeliness of the roadside assistance offered through your insurer. How quickly would you be able to get help if you were stranded? You might find that it makes more sense to just call around to local tow truck companies to see who can get to you more quickly. No one wants to spend hours waiting on the side of the road because the company that provides your roadside assistance only works with select tow truck companies and they’re all busy.
Rental Car Insurance
Another popular add-on is rental car insurance. Some companies offer this as part of their normal insurance, but others sell this as an additional add-on policy. In this case, you need to consider whether it is worthwhile. If you have a travel credit card that already offers rental car coverage, you might find that the policy you would buy would be redundant. Make sure to read the terms of the policy on both your credit cards and the add-on before deciding not to get it.
Zero Depreciation Coverage
Zero Depreciation coverage is another add-on that allows you to get the full replacement value of your car – and the auto parts needed to fix your car – even if the book value of your car goes down. Many car owners get into an accident and have their car totaled, but they don’t get enough money from the insurance company to actually replace their car with a new car because their car has depreciated in value. Typically, this type of insurance is only available during the first few years after buying your car. Whether it makes sense to you might depend on the car you drive and how quickly it is likely to depreciate.
With a deductible reduction, your deductible decreases if you maintain a good driving record. Each year that you avoid tickets and accidents, your deductible goes down a specified amount, until you no longer have a deductible. Whether this add-on makes sense will depend on your personal situation. If you would struggle to pay a deductible, this might be a good option – especially if you have a clean driving record.
If you wouldn’t struggle to pay the full deductible, it likely doesn’t make sense. Making insurance claims on small things doesn’t often make sense since if it increases your auto insurance rates even though it saves you money out of pocket.
Another popular insurance add-on is gap insurance. This type of insurance is for those who are financing a new car with a long-term loan. Essentially, it kicks in when you get into an accident and your car is totaled, but your car is no longer worth the value of your loan because of depreciation.
In the event that your car is totaled, the balance of your auto loan will immediately be due even if the insurance company isn’t able to pay you that same balance since your car is no longer worth as much as when you bought it.
If you don’t have the cash on hand to pay the difference, you could experience financial hardship or your credit score could suffer. But gap insurance means that the insurance company will make up the gap between the value of your car at the time it was totaled and how much you owe on the car.
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How Do You Make Sure You’re Not Overpaying for Car Insurance?
The most important thing that you can do is to shop around for the best car insurance. After all, how do you know if the price you’ve been quoted by one company is competitive if you don’t know what the competition is offering? Sure, you might like your insurance broker or agent. He or she might be friendly and call you every year to make sure that you renew your policy. But insurance is a big investment, and not shopping around could set you back significantly.
Another thing to consider is your deductible. The higher you set your deductible, the more you’ll save on your insurance. Although this might make you immediately want to make the deductible as high as possible, you need to make sure that paying the higher deductible won’t create financial hardship if you’re in an accident.
Increasing the deductible on car insurance from $500 to $1,000 can help a married couple who drives two Toyota Camrys save $140 per year, according to Consumer Reports. While that seems like a significant savings, if you happen to get into an accident or have your car vandalized or stolen, you will need to pay $500 for your deductible. Ultimately, it’s a risk you’ll have to decide whether you’re willing to take.
Many experts also suggest that you shouldn’t get comprehensive and collision insurance if the cost of it is more than 10 percent of your car’s value. But this is only relevant if you’re able to replace your car. If having to replace your vehicle would financially devastate you, then it makes sense to keep it.
There are many other ways to save money on auto insurance. For example, you can save money if you don’t make claims – because you drive safely or if you pay for small repairs out of pocket.
Another way to save money is to maintain a good credit score. Many auto insurance companies price your insurance based on your credit score, since those with bad credit tend to statistically have more claims.
It’s also important to take advantage of discounts. There are a number of different types of situations in which insurance companies are willing to offer a discount on coverage because something reduces your odds of having a car accident or they are trying to attract customers in your demographic.
For example, some companies give discounts for things like antitheft devices, dash cams, or apps that record your driving style. Other companies will give a discount if you haven’t had an accident in three years, if you’re a long-term customer, if you get other types of insurance from that company, if you have more than one driver in your home, or if you don’t use your car often.
Did you take drivers education or defensive driving courses? Great – that will often qualify you for a discount. Make sure to ask your broker or agent what kinds of discounts they offer so you can take advantage of all of them.
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What If You Don’t Have the Right Car Insurance?
If you don’t currently have the right car insurance, there is good news. You’re not locked into your current policy even if you already paid for it for the full year. With most auto insurance policies, you can cancel at any time. That means that you can shop around and get another insurance policy instead.
But if you are happy with your current policy and just want more or less coverage, you can always call your insurance broker or company and change your current insurance coverage by adding more or reducing the insurance that you have. You can also often add add-ons to your policy at any time.
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Is Accident Forgiveness Worth It?
Who doesn’t like to be forgiven when they make a mistake? Accident forgiveness is an insurance add-on where the first time you get into an accident the company agrees not to raise your insurance rates.
The way it works depends on your insurer, but generally insurers will only forgive the first accident, and then you won’t be eligible to get coverage again for up to five years after the accident. Since insurance can go up significantly if you get into an accident, you might benefit if you get one of these policies – but it is worth the costs?
It might be if you’re in a demographic that is prone to accidents – like if you have a teenage driver in your house and you don’t want a small fender bender while they’re learning to drive to cause your car insurance rates to skyrocket. But if you have a great driving record, then your likelihood of getting into an accident where you are at fault could be fairly low. That means you could be throwing away good money if you get accident forgiveness insurance. You might be better off skipping it depending on the price.
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Car Insurance Traps
When it comes to getting car insurance, there are a number of traps to avoid – or you could find yourself significantly overpaying. The last thing you want is to make a misstep that could add hundreds of dollars in costs. So, what should you avoid?
Monthly Installments: One of the things you might consider avoiding is paying for your insurance in monthly installments. While some people can’t afford to pay the full annual amount of your insurance in one lump sum, you pay a premium if you can’t since insurance companies charge you a monthly surcharge. That adds up and makes your insurance more expensive.
Instead, try to budget so that you’ll have the cash needed in order to pay for the lump sum once a year. If you don’t have the cash on hand, you could apply for a zero percent interest credit card and charge the whole amount onto it. If the introductory zero percent rate lasts at least 12 months, you can divide the sum into 12 equal monthly payments.
Avoiding the Fine Print: Another trap that many people fall into is not reading the fine print. Not all policies cover the same things, so it’s important that you make sure you know your policy inside and out. Don’t just assume that your policy will provide you with a courtesy car if you need repairs just because a similar policy provided you with one. Or that your policy will cover replacing lost keys or rekeying your car if your keys are stolen. The last thing you want to do is be surprised that something you thought was covered wasn’t.
Not Insuring Your Car: The biggest insurance trap is believing that you don’t need insurance on your car just because you’re going to be away or not able to drive it. What happens if someone steals your car or if you need it in an emergency? Keeping some amount of insurance on your car is a great idea.
Non-Insured Drivers: You might think that if your friend borrows your car, they’ll be covered by your car insurance, but that might not be the case. Whether or not your policy will cover your friend borrowing your car for a trip to Costco will depend on your insurer or your policy.
Improper Maintenance: If you’re not taking care of the regular maintenance on your car and you get into an accident, your car insurance coverage might not cover you. For that reason, it’s critical that you take care of things like brake pads, tires, headlights, seatbelts, or any other safety-related maintenance that is required. This is also important because you don’t want to get into an accident. You’re better off not driving than driving a car that isn’t safe.
Glass Chips: You might think that if your car is covered if you get a rock chip on your windshield that spiders out until it takes over the full glass, but your policy might not cover that. Make sure to read your policy thoroughly so that you know if this is covered. Some insurers will cover repairs but not replacements of your windshield even if you get a glass add-on.
Out of Country: Taking your car on a trip? You might not be covered. Many insurers only cover you if you’re in the United States. So, if you get into an accident when you drive to Canada or to Mexico, you might be surprised that your coverage won’t cover it.
Low Mileage Discounts: You might be excited about the fact that you can get a discount because you don’t use your car very often, but what if you get a new job and have to drive every day but forget to update your insurance? That could invalidate your policy, so make sure to stick to the rules of your low mileage discount.
Personal Belongings: While some auto insurance policies will cover your personal belongings if they get stolen along with your car, many will not. Make sure that you understand your policy. Also, it’s important to note that your home or tenant insurance might cover your personal belongings when they are in your car, so you will not likely need to buy any add-ons to cover this.
Auto Renewal: Perhaps one of the biggest auto insurance traps is if you allow auto renewal. By doing so, your insurance renews automatically – usually a small increase. Rather than auto-renewing, you should see the anniversary date of your coverage as an opportunity to check quotes and make sure you’re getting the best deal. A lot of things could happen when it comes to a change in the auto insurance rates you qualify for from other insurers, so you’re better off checking than being sorry.
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